The Giver is a book written by Lois Lowry, published in 1993.
The plot of the novel surrounds a twelve-year-old boy named Jonas, who is given the rare, special job of Receiver in his community. In Jonas’s world, there is no color, pain, or past. There is only Sameness. The people live in a society where age determines how an individual advances in life, and spouses, jobs and even death, are determined by a committee of elders. With guidance from the Giver, Jonas is transferred memories from a time when Sameness did not exist, and there was joy, happiness, and love. Of course, along with the happy memories, Jonas also experiences memories of pain, loneliness, and death. Together, Jonas and the Giver make a plan to help their society experience these memories.
I read The Giver in fourth grade, and upon reading it again, I realized what an amazing book it is. The novel starts out describing what seems like a utopian society, but as we read further it begins to seem dystopian. There is no freedom of choice and no individuality. Like Jonas, we are torn between the ideas of freedom and security. We want to stay safe but we also want a life full of surprises. I also enjoyed how the end of the novel leaves Jonas’ fate hopeful but unanswered. It’s up to the reader to decide what happened to the society of Sameness and to Jonas and Gabriel.
I recommend this book to children and adults alike. A film adaptation of the book is set to be released in August 2014, starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Swift.